Hydrodynamic modeling of three-phase flow in production and gathering pipelines

Jose Zaghloul, Michael Adewumi, M. Thaddeus Ityokumbul

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The transport of unprocessed gas streams in production and gathering pipelines is becoming more attractive for new developments, particularly those in less friendly environments such as deep offshore locations. Transporting gas, oil, and water together from wells in satellite fields to existing processing facilities reduces the investments required for expanding production. However, engineers often face several problems when designing these systems. These problems include reduced flow capacity, corrosion, emulsion, asphaltene or wax deposition, and hydrate formation. Engineers need a tool to understand how the fluids travel together, quantify the flow reduction in the pipe, and determine where, how much, and the type of liquid that would form in a pipe. The present work provides a fundamental understanding of the thermodynamics and hydrodynamic mechanisms of this type of flow. We present a model that couples complex hydrodynamic and thermodynamic models for describing the behavior of fluids traveling in near-horizontal pipes. The model incorporates: A hydrodynamic formulation for three-phase flow in pipes A thermodynamic model capable of performing two-phase and three-phase flow calculations in an accurate, fast and reliable manner. A new theoretical approach for determining flow pattern transitions in three-phase (gas-oil-water) flow, and closure models that effectively handle different three-phase flow patterns and their transitions. The unified two-fluid model developed herein is demonstrated to be capable of handling systems exhibiting two-phase (gas-water and gas-oil) and three-phase (gas-oil-water) flow. Model predictions were compared against field and experimental data with excellent matches. The hydrodynamic model allows: 1) the determination of flow reduction due to the condensation of liquid(s) in the pipe, 2) assessment of the potential for forming substances that might affect the integrity of the pipe, and 3) evaluation of the possible measures for improving the deliverability of the pipeline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering 2007, OMAE2007
Pages769-779
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2007
Event26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering 2007, OMAE2007 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2007Jun 15 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering - OMAE
Volume2

Other

Other26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering 2007, OMAE2007
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period6/10/076/15/07

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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